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Cardiff Half Marathon Training Programme 2019


Although I’m not planning to do the Cardiff half this year (I’ve fought against the temptation so far, I am secretly kind of hoping there are a few knocking round before transfer deadline day ... but that’s another story!), I’ve been asked a few times for last years’ training plan, but thought I’d go one better and update it.

If anyone based in or around Cardiff wants company to do their long runs on Sunday mornings, join the Cardiff Social Runners Facebook group here.

This is not a running club, just a social meet up of people going for a run, completely free, I organise a route every week to meet the distance in the plan, last year we had people who came once and people who came every week, there is no need to commit to every Sunday, just check someone else is planning to be there before you turn up, it's a good way to meet new people and get the much needed training miles in. Feel free to download/share the programme. All figures are in miles #oldschool so multiply by 1.6 if want kms! In terms of ability, it’s suitable for anyone, but I’d describe it ideal for a beginner or intermediate who want to complete and enjoy the half, rather than someone who wants to win it 😁😁😁

Logic used to create the programme Here is some of the rationale used to create the programme. Incremental You’ll see the long runs increment weekly, the jumps are a maximum of 1 mile. Split It’s split broadly in two parts.

  • Week 1 - 8 The aim here to get some tougher sessions (hills, intervals, 3 miles) in to build cardio fitness. As the weeks go on the miles ramps up, so that we are getting a fair few miles in but the end of week 8. I keep parkrun in up to then to get used to putting some miles through the legs on the weekends.

  • Week 8 - 18 I drop the tougher session to allow you to focus on distance and to avoid putting too much demand through your body. Focus now should be building endurance.

Maximum Distance I only prescribe 10 miles, I’m a big believer in the aim before the run is to do 10 miles well rather than butcher the full distance. If you worry you won’t be able to complete it without practicing the full 13.1 miles then you’ll either have to trust me or increase one of the 9 or 10.

Taper My favourite few weeks, this taper is a bit more extreme than I’d have liked due to the date of the Swansea 10k, but having a good 16 weeks up to that point will put you in a great position to do a bit less in those last 2 weeks. My aim for all my runners is always to get on the start line feeling ‘fresh legged’. Gym class I’ve put “gym class” in, but you could always do the equivalent in the gym or home. I recommend a resistance based session a week to build strength and minimise injury (it also provides variety than just running). I recommend any type of circuits, bootcamp, HIIT, body pump session, ideally one that is full body but as a minimum targets legs and core! If you want ideas for a gym / home based session get in touch. I drop the gym class for the last few weeks, to reduce demand on the body of such as tough session. Days The days are a guide only, feel free to move around to meet your schedule but try not to train more that 3 days in a row. Rest and recovery is an important part of progress. I put the long runs in on Sunday to mirror the half so you’ll be used to long runs by the big day at the end of the week! Disclaimer The plan should be followed at your risk, consult a medical profession before following a new exercise regime.

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Image attribution - Gareth James


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